Throughout 2014, the Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council and DairyNZ worked with 10 farm consultants assisting dairy farmers preparing farm plans for the regional OnePlan and reducing their risks of contaminating local waterways. The author examines 25 such farm plans from 5 consultants and explains the selection and bundling together of the practices in the plans. The farm plans included a range of similar mitigation practices beginning with the least cost options to achieve reductions in nitrate losses of 5 – 15%. The results indicate the importance of matching potential practices to particular farming systems and farmer circumstances. This work suggests that a short list of practices may be able to be selected for application on farms in specific areas. The impact of those practices upon each farm business will need to be determined for the individual farms in order to reliably enhance farm sustainability and viability.
NZGA 2015, a draft prepared for “Proceedings of the 77th Annual Grassland Conference, vol.77, pp. 275-279”. 2015